Bart Cummings won't have a runner in the Melbourne Cup, Lloyd Williams will have an army of six stayers and Fiorente has usurped Mount Athos as favourite after a dramatic barrier draw on Saturday evening.
Cummings' sole hope Precedence was left languishing just outside the 24-runner cut-off after connections of Lexus Stakes winner Ruscello paid up for the English import take his spot in the field.
In other Cup news after the field and barrier draw was finalised at Flemington:
■Dunaden, the 2011 Cup winner, came up with barrier one
■The majority of Williams' sextet drew favourably, with remarkably Sea Moon (seven), Fawkner (eight), Seville (nine) and defending champion Green Moon (10) all stationed alongside each other
■Pre-draw favourite Mount Athos immediately drifted in markets coming up with 22, while 2011 runner-up Red Cadeaux will start from 23
■The main hope of Chris Waller's team, Hawkspur, will have to be the first horse to win from barrier 18 in the Cup's history
Gai Waterhouse's quest for a maiden Melbourne Cup win was handed a big boost after Cox Plate placegetter Fiorente scored barrier five.
Last year's runner-up immediately re-assumed favouritism for the Big One, with Tab.com.au slashing his price to $7. Luca Cumani's Mount Athos drifted to $8.50 with Caulfield Cup runner-up Dandino ($9) the only other runner in single figures.
Nick Williams remained bullish about Macedon Lodge's bid for back-to-back Cups, claiming Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner and Metropolitan hero Seville represented their best chances.
‘‘Talking about horses who tick the boxes in a traditional sense in the Melbourne Cup build-up, you would have to say the two of ours that tick those boxes are Seville and Fawkner,’’ Williams said.
‘‘They've both got winning form, they've won the right races and they've competed in the right races and I think they've got a really good chance.’’
Mourayan kept his spot in the field after disappointing when a distant seventh behind Side Glance in the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on Saturday.
Retired English soccer star Michael Owen made his first appearance at Flemington before the horse he owns, Brown Panther, runs in the Cup. Owen drew barrier six for the Tom Dascombe-trained six-year-old.
‘‘I think it's an ideal draw for the horse,’’ Owen said.
‘‘There are so many good horses and it's the first little step.
‘‘It's a tough race to win and we're under no illusions. Tom's happy with him and he'll be happier after this.’’
1 Dunaden (1) $26
2 Green Moon (10) $26
3 Red Cadeaux (23) $41
4 Sea Moon (7) $15
5 Brown Panther (6) $19
6 Fiorente (5) $7
7 Foreteller (15) $26
8 Dandino (4) $9
9 Ethiopia (14) $71
10 Fawkner (8) $15
11 Mourayan (19) $126
12 Seville (9) $21
13 Super Cool (13) $41
14 Masked Marvel (2) $26
15 Mount Athos (22) $8.50
16 Royal Empire (11) $26
17 Voleuse De Coeurs (21) $15
18 Hawkspur (18) $13
19 Simenon (12) $18
20 Ibicenco (17) $61
21 Verema (3) $12
22 Dear Demi (16) $19
23 Tres Blue (20) $19
24 Ruscello (24) $41
■Odds courtesy of Tab.com.au